Losing weight seems to be an American obsession. And while it’s true that obesity is a serious health issue worldwide, how you go about losing weight is a very important decision to make. Not all diets are equal. Some popular diets, often endorsed by celebrities, promote extreme changes in diet are not necessarily healthy. It seems every few months a new fad diet emerges that promises quick and noticeable results, and often they do. But at what cost to your health?
Here at New Albany Implants, we want you to be happy and healthy. If losing weight is important to you, then we encourage you to do so, but in a sensible and healthy manner. Extreme changes in your diet can have dramatic effects on your oral health. So before you start a new diet, consider what effect it may have on your teeth.
This diet, which seems to be a favorite among movie stars, replaces meals with juice and the occasional smoothie. In some extreme version you are not even allowed any fruit pulp in your juice. There is some logic to this diet, even if it somewhat flawed. Fruits and vegetables are healthy, so if you just drink the juice instead of eating, you get the nutrients your body needs without having to eat, so you’ll lose weight.
One problem with that way of thinking is the simple fact that your body needs more than the vitamins from fruit to stay healthy. Another problem, especially concerning oral health, is that drinking the juice of fruit instead of eating it concentrates the fruit sugar and acid. Sugar and acid are two major contributors to tooth decay. Alone, each is bad enough, but when you combine the destructive power of sugar and acid, you are seriously putting your smile at risk.
The thing is, your body actually needs the dietary fiber in fruit, and when you juice it out, you are denying your body a vital nutrient. Fiber helps regulate your blood sugar, and aids in digestion, which is an important part of a healthy diet.
Eating the actual fruits and vegetables, instead of just drinking the juice, stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is a vital component in the fight against tooth decay. It neutralizes acid and washes away sugar. The act of chewing is extremely important to your oral health, and the juice cleanse completely eliminates chewing from your diet.
Another favorite of celebrities, the Raw Food diet is where you eat only foods that do not require cooking, at most this diet will let you lightly steam some vegetables. For the most part the food in this diet consists of fruit, vegetable, nuts, and seeds.
This diet is a wonderful example of too much of a good thing. All of those foods are good for you and should be a part of a healthy balanced diet, but the key word there is “balanced”. If all you eat all day every day is fruit vegetables and nuts and seeds, then the sugar and acid in the fruit is going to take a toll on your teeth. And nuts tend to get stuck in your teeth, as do seeds. That can cause irritation and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
This diet is similar to the juice cleanse in that it asks you to restrict your diet very heavily. Beware of such extreme changes to your diet. For one, these diets can cause you to shed a few pounds very quickly, which is why movie stars like them, but they do not yield results that are sustainable over the long term. Also, such drastic changes in your diet can be very unhealthy, so make sure you consult your doctor before going on one.
The Small Meal diet involves eating several small meals throughout the day, instead of three relatively large ones, as is the norm. In this case the food itself isn’t necessarily the problem, depending, of course, on what you eat. The frequency of eating is what threatens your oral health in this diet. Every time you eat a meal, your teeth are vulnerable for about twenty minutes after you eat. So if you are eating more often, then your teeth are vulnerable more often, which puts your oral health at risk.
Make An Appointment
Ultimately, the healthy way to lose weight is a gradual lifestyle change that will take the weight off slowly and permanently. But you still want to make sure that any change to your diet does not affect your oral health in a negative way.
Come to our Southern Indiana office for an examination and we will be happy to discuss the impact a change in diet can have on your teeth. Contact New Albany Implants today to schedule an appointment.